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Parks and Open Spaces Strategy

In 2013 we adopted our Open Spaces Strategy after consultation with our communities. The Strategy set a long-term vision for the provision, development and management of the Parks and Open Spaces network provided by Matamata-Piako District Council over a twenty year period. Consultation has closed on the draft Parks and Open Spaces Strategy 2021-51, all information and submission can be viewed here. A hearing will be held on 12 May (and 13 May if required) for Council to make decisions. We would like to thank those that took the time to read the plans and let us know what they think. All submitters will be updated on decisions in June.

Read the full strategy here

A few things have changed over the last seven years and it’s time to review the strategy in light of things like:

  • Population changes
  • Growth
  • Legislation and policy changes
  • Sport, recreation, tourism and environmental management trends

It also presents an opportunity to improve on some sections of the strategy as a result of new data, increased knowledge and experience or feedback.
A key part of the review process is to check in with our communities to hear your views.

What is the Strategy about?

The Strategy guides how parks and open spaces are provided, distributed, developed and maintained by Matamata-Piako District Council in the long term.
It is about providing a network of parks and open spaces that are fit-for-purpose, valued by community, and enhanced for future generations.
We want to ensure that, long term, we are:

  • Providing and protecting the right spaces in the right places for sport and recreation
  • Protecting and enhancing significant environmental, cultural and historical spaces
  • Planning, designing and managing our parks and open spaces well
  • More strategic and purposeful about things like land acquisitions and disposals, partnerships and volunteer programmes
  • Enabling our communities to be take pride in our parks and open spaces.

The strategy is about confirming the vision for our network of parks and open spaces for the next 30 years. The process includes identifying objectives to help achieve the long term vision and some priorities to focus on in the short term. This will guide and inform other Council policies and processes affecting parks and open spaces.

What it is not about

The strategy is not intended to be a detailed development or management plan of a specific park or reserve nor a list of maintenance jobs that need doing. It’s not intended to allocate funding towards specific projects – this is done through Long Term Plan and Annual Plan processes.


Have your say

Right now, we would like to hear about how you use our current parks and open spaces network, what you like (or don’t like), what you think should be improved, and what you think is most important.
After the survey has closed, we will check in with you, by posting the survey results on our website. We will be considering your feedback when drafting the revised strategy. Before putting the draft strategy document out for further consultation, we may check in with you again to ask a few more specific questions to make sure we’re on the right track.

What are Parks and Open Spaces?

Parks and Open Spaces include:

  • Parks & reserves
  • Sports fields
  • Playgrounds
  • Walking and tramping tracks
  • Cycle and mountain bike trails
  • Beautification areas
  • Town centre gardens and street furniture


Why are parks and open spaces important?

Parks and Open Spaces provide many social, health, economic and environmental benefits.
Social: They strengthen communities by providing local identity, places to play, socialise, commemorate or celebrate.
Health: The physical and mental health benefits of parks and open spaces are widely recognised. Parks and Open Spaces provide places of beauty, spaces for exercise, socialising, learning and relaxing.
Economic: Attractive, vibrant town centres encourage local business activity and tourism. Good parks and open spaces networks make towns more attractive to live in or visit. Nature and recreation related tourism provide employment opportunities.
Environment: Plants absorb carbon from the atmosphere. Street trees provide shade and mitigate urban heat effects. Tree canopies and root systems reduce stormwater flows and nutrient loads to watercourses. Forests and wetlands provide wildlife habitat. Floodplain reserves protect towns from flooding.